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It's funny.  Laugh. The Internet

Random Generator Parodies Vapid Startup Websites 148

alphadogg writes: A pair of Georgia Tech computer science students have created a Random Startup Website Generator that spits out a different jargon-laden startup website every time you click on the URL. Mike Bradley and Tiffany Zhang's project "serves as a parody of startups that have websites full of vague praise and little information about their actual business, often because they have little to show in that regard."
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Random Generator Parodies Vapid Startup Websites

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  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Saturday April 25, 2015 @09:16PM (#49553015)

    Brilliant, that's what!

    • Oh man... this is spot on. This... I can't even... oh no.

      I feel so empty right now. WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE??

      • Re:ROTFL! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by popo ( 107611 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @03:23AM (#49553943) Homepage

        At least now perhaps we can put to rest some of these awful trends in web design:

        - Oversized graphics that require excessive scrolling.

        - Parallax silliness (Because we can)

        - Round bio photos (Because Apple, that's why)

        - Giant "flat design" icons that add zero value

        - The full-screen expanded "hero" div which is basically this decade's "title screen". (Seriously, title screens suck. Why is one that requires slowly 'scrolling' past -

        - better than one that one clicks past?)

        - The giant quote. Does this need to fill up 1/3 of my screen? Why?

        • Re:ROTFL! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ericloewe ( 2129490 ) on Sunday April 26, 2015 @08:13AM (#49554527)

          You forgot infinitely-scrolling websites that never destroy any of the shit that now lies the equivalent of 20 pages up.

        • And low colors. Look at white office 2013, the new Microsoft logo, and of course Windows 8

        • by RDW ( 41497 )

          At least now perhaps we can put to rest some of these awful trends in web design.

          These guys have designed a really absurd parody site that mocks many of these design elements (I especially love the ridiculous horizontal scroll bar):

          http://www.dhigroupinc.com/ [dhigroupinc.com]

          It's a bit too silly to be believable (e.g., what are they actually supposed to be selling?!) but it'll still probably fool a fair number of people.

    • The IPO is next week. You'll want to sell before close.

    • The randomly generated web pages look so much like real kickstarter project web sites. How long before the usual suspects use this as an "idea generator" for even more TTMAR kickstarter campaigns than we've already been subjected to?

      (TTMAR - Take The Money And Run)

  • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @09:16PM (#49553019) Homepage

    I suspect they could have saved themselves a lot of coding by simply randomly linking to real startup web sites. It'd look no less ridiculous.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What has happened to Silicon Valley? As recently as a few decades ago, it was a hotbed for innovation. I'm not talking about innovation like how to force advertisements on more unwilling victims. I'm talking about innovations like the creation of the microprocessor, the invention of computer networking, and real innovation like that. We saw companies that created products that truly revolutionized the world in ways that we couldn't have imagined just a few years earlier. Silicon Valley was a magnificent pla

    • it's turned into west wall street basically.

    • I'm talking about innovations like the creation of the microprocessor, the invention of computer networking, and real innovation like that.

      Simple - those things have reached a certain degree of maturity - just like microwave ovens, hi-fi, TV/monitors, cars, airplanes, etc. For the most part we're just refining things that existed many decades ago in slightly different forms.

      Generally speaking, the only places left to innovate are software ("apps") and integration of All Of The Above -- so really, the only place left for true innovation is the Internet of Things -- and even then.. it's just mashing disparate technologies together using a 40+

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Much of silicon valley is/was devoted to the transistor. Now that innovation has been assimilated into products and there's not all that much more you can do to the transistor to make it more useful to drive new products, it isn't surprising to see silicon valley slow down. Why would anyone expect innovation to crank on at a steady pace? Everything goes though cycles, innovation is no different?

      In addition, scientific breakthroughs are what drives real innovation. Seeing this, Congress has seen fit to cut r

      • Spending on research [thenewatlantis.com] has been constantly growing over the past 50 years, and private spending is well ahead of Government spending. There really isn't a "cutoff" in funding, unless a cut from a 5% increase to a 2% increase is construed as a cut (in a time when inflation is running around 2%).
  • It hurts! (Score:5, Funny)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @09:36PM (#49553079)

    OK, I am in pain from laughing so hard!

    Some of my favs include:

    * Effortify! "Share your favorite efforts and discover new ones." http://tiffzhang.com/startup/?... [tiffzhang.com]

    * Sprayit! "Spray like never before." http://tiffzhang.com/startup/?... [tiffzhang.com]

    and

    * Insectify! "The evolution of the insect" http://tiffzhang.com/startup/?... [tiffzhang.com]

  • Where do I send my check?

    • Pretty much. They look better than many real "what does this company do ?" websites Ive seen.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    My brother knew an immigrant from Russia. When she saw something that she wasn't familiar with, she'd look askance at it and ask (in heavily accented English), "Vat is dees (this) sheet?" That's what investors should do, when they see requests to invest in a startup: ask, "Vat is dees sheet?"

  • by bistromath007 ( 1253428 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @10:27PM (#49553233)
    Every time you make a bullshit start-scam, it has to have a countdown. You can't expect to get any investors if you don't build up at least a week of hype without giving any information other than "we will make an announcement."
  • ...and shipped it instead of sitting on it in a vacuum, I'd say they are more prepared than ever to start software companies, vapid or otherwise. I won't be surprised if it turns out later that they build some aggressive startups of their own with weird ideas and unclear value propositions, inherent aspects of taking risk, they get traction, raise for growth, and offer up some reflection on the two sides of the coin.
  • I first saw something like this with the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator about 15 to 20 years ago. I haven't been able to find it recently, though.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      And I'm sure there were multiple dot-com start-up name generators around 2000 or so. But they all probably died due to running out of seed money. (ba-dum-pissh!)
  • by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @11:24PM (#49553457)
    This is the funniest thing since Bullshit Bingo [bullshitbingo.net].
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @11:44PM (#49553505)

    That's the best thing ever. I can't tell some of those sites apart from some of the Web 3.0 hipster places' actual sites.

    It does bother me a little though, and I feel old, but I do remember when technology was actually exciting and there was always something totally new coming out. Obviously, the Web was awesome, but lately the focus has primarily been on only a few things:
    - Miniaturizing a computer complete with peripherals and a tracking device to fit in every idiot's pocket
    - Cheap, large scale x86 virtualization to bring us -- bum bum buuuummm.... the cloud which is powering a lot of these dumb startups and letting them keep burning through VC money longer
    - Rehashing of Dotcom Bubble 1.0, this time with the cloud and smartphones, to produce an endless round of me-too startups. "Tinder for X" or "Airbnb for Y"
    - Shoving more ads in front of people's faces and tracking their movements/activities -- similar to Dotcom Bubble 1.0's "eyeballs" measure of profitability
    - Automation of key white collar jobs and the rise of the "sharing economy"...so when the next big thing comes along, no one will be able to afford to buy it

    I wonder what actual innovation is going to happen next. Watching high tech peak and decline is pretty depressing. It's not clear to me what will replace computers as the driving force for new breakthroughs -- as in, what will end up in the minds of the public as the next big thing. The 80s was dominated by personal computers, the 90s by the Internet, the 2000s by...phones? Social Media?

    • by solanum ( 80810 )

      Agreed whole-heartedly, though maybe the advent of liquid metal 3D printing will be a new innovation that will change the world? I didn't think much of the plastic layering jobs (I have no need for prototyping, but appreciate they are very useful for others), but printing in metal without the layers? When that is at the pro-sumer level, I think we'll have another revolution on our hands, comparable with the internet or smart-phones.

      So maybe the good stuff is still happening, just buried in all the cr@p? Or

      • Or maybe there's not really all that much NEW stuff that can be done "with a computer" or "in the Cloud"?

        It's just possible that the industry is entering maturity, and the only things left are doing the things it already does slightly more efficiently than the competition, rather than in a radically different way.

        Note that the very early years of aviation included a lot of innovation, both in terms of capability and use-cases. But the airline industry has since pretty much settled down to "move people ab

        • by smaddox ( 928261 )

          I think the problem is that Moore's law lasted for so long that people began to think it would last forever. Not so. Human population can't continue to grow forever, either. Nor can our energy usage. They all must eventually either plateau, or crash. I'm hoping for the former.

    • I think it's a mix of getting old, "stuff was better when I were a lad", and things moving else where.

      When you were younger, you were almost certainly more excited about things which were not nearly as new as you thought. This is simply because when one is younger, one has less experience, so more things appear new. Where your older self now sees a rehashed idea from 1957 with pretty graphics instead of punch cards, your self 20 years ago would have seen a brilliant new idea. I think this inevitable and it'

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday April 25, 2015 @11:49PM (#49553519)

    Bookmarking this site for social broadcasting mischief come next April 1st.

    • Sounds like a job for.. Bookmrkr! Do you love bookmarking? What to broadcast your bookmarks to your social network? Check out Bookmrkr!!

  • These randomly generated sites are in the design style that seems to be popular today, with ridiculous vertical scrolling, and very little content per pixel.

    Anyone involved with coming up with that design, popularizing it, or using it, should meet a sudden and violent end and their families forbidden from the internet.

  • The Tinder of websites for startups that are the Tinder of randomly created nonsense.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They load from three different Google domains (ajax, fonts and analytics) and one CDN, and if you don't let them load third party content, you only get a blank page. 100% on the mark. Only stupid people make their web site absolutely depend on third party content.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    These are hilarious. The only thing missing is the declaration that it's in beta and asking you to provide your email.

  • Here's a particularly fine example - a start-up for Death [tiffzhang.com]:-

    The death you've been waiting for.

    Satisfy your niche in the death ecosystem with online branding that’s built by active people for right consumers.

    Quote: "Death was prompt, current, and current. Ten out of ten!" - Alexandra Sanders, San Gabriel, California

  • Are they trying to rip off a particular web CMS platform that churns out all these hipster sites, or is it just coincidence that they all look the same?
  • Laughing so hard here right now, they really nailed this.

    suckify - "I've been sucking for 15 years and I've never seen anything like Suckify. They're really something else." http://tiffzhang.com/startup/i... [tiffzhang.com]

    screwable - Commit. Perform. Screw. "As a professional in the screwing industry, I tell all my new clients to start out with an account on Screwable." http://tiffzhang.com/startup/i... [tiffzhang.com]

  • I'm not sure this one is entirely legal, though:

    http://tiffzhang.com/startup/?... [tiffzhang.com]

    Girlfriendable. The Evolution of the Girlfriend.

    'Girlfriendable is a peerless girlfriend service that makes it easy to turn your girlfriends into cash.'

  • Oh dear...
    http://tiffzhang.com/startup/index.html?s=679093822241

    Suck something targeted.

    Suckify was founded by people who love sucking just like you! Enter your favorite ways to suck and we'll help you fit it all in. Since we're using fair technologies, you can count on us next time you suck.

  • Let's party like it's 1999!

  • After that it starts to feel kind of disturbing.

  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    Remember that old random headline generator? This appears to be a webified version of that.

    Back in the last generation, when the Web was just taking off, we had a guy at a company I worked for who wrote a vision/mission statement generator based on spew. Most of the work appered to be populating the input data table with vision-y/mission-y type vocabulary. It was scary how well it worked to generate the same sort of nonsense that program management was in the habit of creating.

  • I used to do some web development for a company that primarily resold other peoples' software, and offered training on it. I got in some pretty epic arguments with this one sales guy that always said the website didn't "look like a startup website." I could see myself just sending him one of these and asking if that was what he was looking for.
  • Slack is the king of these parodies [slack.com]... Oh wait, that's REAL? Seriously?
  • That is AWESOME. They've managed to take the piss out of every annoying Web fad invented in the last 5 years.

    Incidentally, it does demonstrate the herd mentality of web designers in general... and how when one person used Bootstrap or material design in a website, then a billion other web hipsters will do the same. Result, an Internet where a third of the websites look identical.

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